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Happiness Is……..

Did you know there was a thing called the Movement for Happiness? I learned this the other day when I heard on the radio that they were looking for a National Director at a reputed salary of £80,000 per year. I imagine that will make someone very happy indeed.

It set me thinking. What makes us happy? What would make us happy? What is happiness anyway? Is it a warm gun? a cigar called Hamlet? South Indian garlic chicken with coriander? A Macallan 18 year old with a sherry oak finish? A good woman?….. A bad woman?

According to Helen Keller, “True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
“You will never be happier than you expect. To change your happiness, change your expectation.” So said Bette Davis
Samuel Johnson said that ” Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords.”

Here are some more definitions:

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” – Mahatma Gandhi
“Happiness is an inner state of well being. A state of well being enables you to profit from your highest: thoughts, wisdom, intelligence, common sense, emotions, health, and spiritual values in your life.” – Lionel Ketchian
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” – Aristotle
“Happiness: An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another.” – Ambrose Bierce
“Life can be divided into the horrible and miserable.” – Woody Allen
“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” – Albert Schweitzer

So dear reader, how would you define happiness and what makes or would make you happy?


F****ng Beer!

I wrote some time ago about the quaintly named town of Fucking in Austria and how it has the most stolen and replaced road sign in the world.

Now an enterprising German company are to name a beer after the town. In southern Austria and Germany light ale is known as “hell”. Using your skill and judgement, have a guess at the proposed name of the product which the EU has rejected a complaint about. Still don’t know? click here for the answer.

Thanks to Amo.

Radio Silence?



From yesterday’s Guardian

“The government intends to switch national and regional radio stations over to digital transmission from FM and AM by 2015. But according to an influential committee of peers, there is “public confusion and industry uncertainty” over the plans.

Between 50m and 100m analogue radios will only be able to pick up community stations after the switchover, while car radios will need converters. Critics such as the Guardian’s Jack Schofield say those leading the digital switchover have built their plans around an already-obsolete system (DAB) and have failed to provide listeners with a compelling reason to invest in new sets. The BBC’s recently announced axing of 6 Music and Asian Network – on top of the closure of many commercial DAB stations – has weakened the push towards digital. Last year, 66% of all listening was analogue, 21% digital – half on DAB and half through PCs – and 13% unspecified.”

Nothing is guaranteed to bring out the Luddite conservative in me than stuff like this. I listen to a lot of radio, mostly Radio Scotland and Radio 4,  much of it speech based. At work I have an old music centre which is probably 35 years old, great tone which I use every day. At home I have various radios. The most used is a Sony portable which I can take from room to room. Heck it even picks up Medium Wave for the Radio Scotland fitba’. I have a wee Philips MP3 with radio which I listen to whilst out walking the dog.

Andrew Harrison supported the change to digital on the Today programme yesterday by stating that ‘ the way we consume (radio) is changing’. Don’t you just hate shit like this? When did listeners become “consumers”? When did passengers (listen to the announcements at stations and airports) become customers? Christ! I’ve even heard patients referred to as customers in a doctor’s waiting room!

As usual when the government in their wisdom declare something as obsolete it’ll be the most vulnerable in society who suffer most. Old folk and blind people (two groups who rely on radio rather a lot) will have to shell out a fortune on new sets and will be confused on how to tune the things. At a time when we are trying to reduce waste, I wonder how much space on landfill 100 million radios or more will take up?

I already have a DAB at home. Thankfully it also picks up FM because the DAB signal is pisspoor most of the time.

Finland and Sweden abandoned similar switchover plans in 2005 and shut down their DAB network. Germany has binned their schedule too.

I wonder, reading the Guardian article again if this is an opportunity for community radio to really take off and ease the pressure on landfill?

Dumbarton Rock

Another terrific photo of the Rock. This was taken by Robert Beacon and was posted on the Facebook Group Save Dumbarton High Street.

The Daily Mail Song

Thanks to Russell.

This is brilliant.

Farewell to Paisley

I caught an interview on BBC radio at the weekend in which John Humphreys interviewed Rev Ian Paisley on the occasion of his retiral as a Westminster MP after 40 years. It can be heard here.

Ian Paisley (left) and Martin McGuinness

The Chuckle Brothers

One of the most amazing things in the interview is that Paisley claims to have prayed with his deputy Martin McGuinness in 2008 for the latter’s sick mother. Jeeez! they pray to the SAME God? It kind of makes you wonder what all the trouble in Northern Ireland over the last three hundred years or so has been about.

DFC Comedy Dinner

We all needed a tonic for the Peterheid defeat and the Dinner and Comedy show last night was just the ticket.

The three comedians Stu Who, Vladimir McTavish and Des Clarke were brilliant.

We had a beer or two

Hats off to Sonstrust and in particular club director Alan Findlay for all their hard work in organising the night. It was a departure from the usual sportsmans dinner format and worked very well. The 200 or so atendees behaved themselves and gave the comedians good attention which is crucial on these occasions.